Nana’s Hydrox Pudding Pie – aka Oreo Pie – Gluten Free Version
Thanksgiving ends at a different time for me then it does everyone else. Thanksgiving is over when my “Hydrox pudding” is gone. This isn’t one of those desserts that make it past the “morning after” (Thanksgiving, that is.)
I mentally TRY and block out the fact that it is still in the refrigerator, but it never works. Alas, it was my breakfast today. Only now is Thanksgiving is officially over. Since I personally did away with most of the 9×13 pan, I will be repentant for the rest of the week by consuming nothing but fresh fruits and veggies and green tea (after my coffee this morning!).
In fact, I rarely eat anything like our Thanksgiving feast during the rest of the year. It’s the California influence of healthy, organic and free range. Even though many of my posts have heavier dishes, it’s only because I think about, “how many pictures I can actually take of the fresh stuff that doesn’t require a recipe?”
My Nana’s “Hydrox Pudding” is the only food item I have ever obsessed about. This is an old school dessert that takes hours to make. It immediately conjures up images of my grandparent’s dining room and my Nana dishing this out on holidays.
The name “Hydrox Pudding” comes from the origination of the dessert back in the 1940′s, I think. It was made with Hydrox cookies; the predecessor to Oreos. You can still find them in grocery stores (yes, they have gluten in them). The filling is a custard/whipped cream that takes literally hours to make. It’s basically a super-size, chilled, Oreo pie. It’s not too sweet or too chocolaty. It’s horrifically addicting to me for some reason.
How do I make this gluten free? Well, thanks to Kinnikinnick (www.kinnikinnick.com), I use their gluten free crushed chocolate cookies. They are descendants of their “Kinitoos” (Oreo-like) cookie. One package of crumbs is enough for the whole 9×13 pie. I order them straight from their online store.
It’s a tricky recipe to get right. I’ve had years of practice and we were very happy with the results over the years. (It helps if you already know how to beat egg whites and whipping cream to a stiff peak.)
My whole family loves this dessert and my oldest son proudly finished off the last bite. He asked me to make it again. I told him I’d be happy to….next Thanksgiving.
*Tip – If you can’t find the gluten free chocolate cookie crumbs, find your favorite gluten free chocolate cream sandwich cookie and crush them in the food processor until they are fine crumbs. Kinnikinnick just happens to be the best.
**Editorial comments for preparing**
The steps are all listed below under instructions, but if you haven’t made custard before, this can be tricky. Don’t be afraid. It’s not hard – but requires a little more attention than a box of jello or pudding. Key is to make sure and chill things according to directions. When you are ready to prepare the final filling by integrating all the ingredients, make sure and beat the chilled egg/sugar/gelatin custard separately until creamy before adding to the whipped cream and whipped egg whites or you will get yellow lumps.
Nana's Hydrox Pudding Pie- aka Oreo Pie
- 1 envelope Knox gelatin
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 pint whipping cream
- 2 egg whites
- 1 package Kinnikinniick Crushed Chocolate cookie crumbs or 2 packages of crushed Kinnitoos (or other gluten free "oreo" style cookie
- 1/4 c melted butter
- Soak 1 envelope of Knox gelatin in 1 cup of milk in the refrigerator for an hour. Make sure you stir it well until there are no lumps.
- Combine 1 cup sugar and 2 egg yolks with the gelatin in a saucepan. Save the egg whites in the refrigerator. You will need them later and they need to be cold so you can whip them to "stiff peaks."
- Cook gelatin, sugar and egg yolks over medium heat until it is the consistency of boiled custard. Bring it to a low boil and then reduce the heat. It almost doubles in volume a presents a nice light yellow color when at a low boil. Then reduce the heat and stir for another 5-7 minutes until it coats a wooden spoon.
- Cool it until completely set, approximately 1 1/2 hours.
- Whip 1 pt whipping cream from approximately 3-5 minutes until it doubles in consistency and has thickened to a "whipped cream."
- Beat the two egg whites in a separate bowl until stiff peaks form.
- In a separate larger bowl, beat the chilled custard until it's smooth and creamy. This is key and usually where I mess this dessert up. If this is not creamy, you will end up with little yellow spots throughout the dessert.
- Add the egg whites and whipped cream to the creamy custard.
- Continue to beat until completely smooth and creamy (approx 2 min).
- Using approximately 2/3 of the bag of cookie crumbs, mix with melted butter and press into greased (or spray with cooking spray) 9x13 glass baking dish.
- Spoon the creamy filling onto the pressed cookie crust.
- Sprinkle the remaining cookie crumbs across the top until it's completely covered (another common name for this dessert is "dirt.").
- Chill for 3-4 hours. Chilling it overnight makes it even better!
- *This is a great "make ahead" dessert. This is also a terrible "make the day of" dessert if you don't have time to chill it for three-four hours. :-)